Battling Impurity -- And Feeling Lost Because Of It

(Sorry for the long post)

So I’ve been dealing with Masturbation for nearly 5 years (I’m 18 now). I didn’t realize it was a sin at first, but I quickly became aware of it soon after. I’ve been trying to stop for 3 or 4 years now—which actually seems much longer than that—but have always failed. I’ve confessed the sin, and within two weeks do it again.

Early on I would commit this sin daily, but after a couple years cut it down to about once a week. I had good weeks followed by bad weeks for quite some time. Recently, I thought I had been making some major progress. I went over 5 weeks before falling for a couple days. I built myself back up and had a good week, but fell once again.

I’ve read the posts on how to avoid and overcome this habit, and they’ve all been helpful and I’ve tried them all. My issue is this: How quick is God to forgive? Will he show mercy even when I struggle with the same thing for a long period of time?

Each time I fail, I quickly ask for forgiveness and pray. I get to confession when I can, and I attend mass weekly. But over the years, the process repeats itself.

Good weeks or even months seem to be washed out by two or three bad days. I pray, I beg for mercy and build myself back up where I fall again. I keep track of how many consecutive days I’ve been clean, then I fall down and the streak snaps at 33 days and I start all over. I get frustrated because I feel like I need to go another 33 days before I start to make more progress and show God my effort.

I’m 18, was raised in a devout catholic household, receive the sacraments, pray, read the bible, and attend mass. I feel like I should know better by now.

I know God forgives, I know nobody is perfect but I really beat myself up when I fail. I know I should avoid the computer, because I know what follows, but I fail. At this point, I’m kind of sick of fighting the same battle over and over. I always get to confession when I can, but in the meantime (and after) I still feel like I can’t win.

I know what leads me into sin, but sometimes I just walk into it anyway. I feel like when I do this I’m not a good follower of Jesus because, in the past, I have been able to overcome this sin. I feel like I am just choosing to Mas. , and not trusting God or loving Jesus enough to overcome it.

I think I am being way too hard on myself, but I just feel lost at this point.

I have no words of advice for you, but I will pray for you that God will help you with this.

It is hard to be a young person in this day and age. Physiologically, your hormones are at their peak right now. Not an excuse, but it makes it harder than for those of us who have passed that age.

If you can speak to your Confessor about this, would you find that more helpful? Maybe if you can check in with him once a week it might make it easier for you.

The best advice I can give, that I have found helpful recently, is to add a Holy Hour of Adoration with the Eucharist if at all possible, and to avail yourself of indulgences when possible, and to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. Of course, continue to go to reconciliation as much as possible. Much worse than confessing the same sin over and over again is to get discouraged; this is what the devil wants, and being steadfast in your faith raises the hope.
You will get through this…and God forgives instantly with the words of absolution.
If possible, please dedicate yourself to an adoration hour. Place holy water in your room, on your forehead, praying for God to purify your mind. I’ll be praying for you.

When I was in high school, I dated a guy (and several months into our relationship), told me that he was having trouble with this. We brainstormed some ideas to help him stop doing it. He promised to tell me when he did (and then we would pray together). He also taped pictures of people he loved and the Virgin Mary to the side of the computer. (might be harder if it is a laptop, but you can be creative).

Keep yourself busy and when you find yourself wanting to…GET UP, leave the room, get a glass of water walk around…and you will slowly not want anymore. Keep praying, and good luck!

I’ve just read your thread…

You are fighting the good fight. To fail in this area is very humbling, isnt it? What more to admit it to a priest again, again and yet again.
I humbly believe, the HEIGHT OF OUR SPIRITUAL EDIFICE which God is calling all of us to, demands tha the CAVERNS OF HUMILITY BE DUG DEEP. In other words, we need to humbly admit our failings again and again and yet again and with each effort to struggle on we grow…I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU THAT YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN UP…I AM PROUD OF YOU AS A LITTLE BROTHER IN CHRIST!!!

May I also suggest a few other things you may not realise…you have read some of them already but they are worth repeating here in your on going growth as a Son of God by grace.

  1. Could you going more often to Mass and Holy Communion?. As long you are in the state of grace,(before any fall in this area, obviously) you can receive holy communion and this will increase the degree of holiness and strength of God in your soul. Jesus in the Holy Eucharist must be your strength and consolation and power …THIS IS SO FOR ANY CATHOLIC WORTHY OF HIS CALLING AT BAPTISM.!!! It will take time for you to establish this as a way of life BUT IT IS WORTH IT …FOR TIME AND ETERNITY!!! The Church teaches infallibly that The Mass and communion is the greatest means of growing in holiness, to build our treasure in heaven and to grow in the love of God (same thing actually …looking at different perspective)…
    Due to my work contraints I only manage 8-9 days in 2 weeks to go for Mass. I boast of the Lord’s gift as He has been very merciful to me in spite of my wretchedness and the sins of my youth!!

  2. Please try the 15 prayers of St Bridget. It is one of the best helps to grow in purity. One things for sure it will take a chunk of your time!! I believe you have time!! In the beginning you will feel it like reciting some mechanical prayer but if you persevere for several months you will understand why some of us have already said it for 15 years(personally Ive said it for 7-8years though not every day…but the first year the intent was to do it everyday and that has helped me persevere). Jesus will help you grow to love him personally and to realise ever more fully His great love for you, Ned…

  3. the chaplet of Mercy. If you understand the Mass, you can understand the value of this prayer. Make it one of your priorities to say at one time 2-3 chaplets. SHORTEN YOUR PURGATORY AND INCREASE YOUR MERITS IN GODS EYES.

  4. Use the sacramentals. green and brown.miraculous medals. each has a beautiful promise …these need only human faith as they are private revelations but the blessings are enormous…

  5. I would also to send you an image of the Divine Mercy you can wear around your neck. Ive received one of the greatest gifts from God thru it…GREATER TRUST IN HIM and help to overcome weakness in all areas of my life…
    The promise of Jesus tp St Faustina, “Anyone who venerates this image will not perish. I also promise victory over your enemies already here on earth and especially at the hour of death.”
    You will gain the victory every more fully in your life…
    Please let me know your address if you are interested.
    God bless.

Kentcara2003 (SSCC 3rd Order)

Just keep praying and fighting the good fight. Every time you win a battle then you know that another battle will soon follow, and just because you may lose a battle from time to time then that does NOT mean that you lost the war. You’re not alone. So so many men and women struggle with this in their lives daily.

I know that every day we make it is a victory, and that all it takes is letting our guard down for 1 minute and we can fall. It’s tough!

33 days is pretty darn good man! Don’t beat yourself up too much over falling. You’re doing the right thing by picking yourself up again and confessing and continuing the good fight. God is graceful and merciful.

Keep fighting, brother!

Let us pray!!

**Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wiles and wickedness of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl this world seeking the ruin of souls.

In Christ Jesus name we pray.


Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


Thread after thread after thread in this website features good Catholic men expressing deep frustration at years of unsuccessfully “battling masturbation” or “battling impurity,” and like that scene in “Saving Private Ryan” when the soldiers are gathered nevervouslyaround their own wounded and dying medic, doing this useless thing and that useless thing, having no idea how to successfully treat the wound, the sympathetic Catholics here gather round and say this and that without ever successfully "“treating” the masturbation “wound.”

Please, read this.

Even your words, “battling masturbation” or “battling impurity” foreshadow a failed effort.








There is a line, early in the movie “Inception,” where one of the characters says, “If I order you to stop thinking about an elephant, what is the first thing you do?”

The human sexual function, ESPECIALLY in male psychology, is fantasy-driven.

Mental pictures of sex drive us guys to want to do something with our sexual apparatus.





The more you agonize about masturbation, the more you will do it.

Where one suffers from the “problem of habitual masturbation,” the problem is not habitual masturbation.

Habitual masturbation is only a symptom.

The problem is your attitude toward the rest of life. THAT IS ACTUALLY WHERE THE “SIN OF MASTURBATION” LIES. This is what you should be confessing.

This is the way I put it here …

You are shopping in a store with other people. An armed robber comes in and sticks the barrel of his firearm into the mouth of another man and in front of everyone he blows out that person’s brains.

Then he walks over to you and sticks the barrel of his firearm into YOUR mouth as he screams in a crazed fashion.

Are you going to be thinking about “your masturbation problem” or about sex, generally? Are you capable of fantasizing at that point?


You are going to be thinking about surviving.

Notice that at that moment you are not thinking about “battling masturbation” and not thinking about “not masturbating.”

Yet, you are not doing it.

Who, at that moment, is successfully defeating your masturbation habit?

The armed robber.

You must do the same.



Let me put it this way: Why are you worried about masturbating, masturbating, masturbating? Why are you praying incessantly about THAT? Why are you confessing THAT?


Instead, worry, worry, worry that you have failed to develop an energetic sense of humor!

Instead, worry that you are NOT working, working, working.

Instead, worry that you are NOT giving, giving, giving.

There is your true sin.


I masturbated between 7 and 25. When I realized the above, the habit vanished, in about 2 weeks…

A habitual male masturbator is a failed Sad Sack sitting in a dark corner to get away from the life God placed him in, sucking on a lollipop, wailing, “I CAN’T STOP SUCKING ON THIS LOLLIPOP.” And the zillions of posts here to the habitual male masturbators unsuccessfully telling them, “PRAY to stop sucking on your lollipop” and “CONFESS sucking on your lollipop, and, finally, you WILL stop suckin on that lollipop,” and “Why not see a psychologist? He will give you AVERSION THERAPY to stop sucking on that lollipop” – it’s all absurd.

The problem ISN’T that you are sucking a lollipop.

The problem IS that you are avoiding what is beyond the dark corner you are sitting in.

Get it?

There’s your answer.

Now, go be a person, Change the world. Help save God’s Church from these priests and bishops ruining it with those sex cases which so far have generated about $2,000,000,000.00 in civil liability.

Well it really isn’t just that simple ^^^^. You are actually suggesting that the sin can be no’d out of existence with thought control. It is important to come out of yourself and focus on others, but impurity can’t be simply thought away as you are suggesting. Does not work for most people, the impulse is too strong. I’m glad it worked for you, but most people use therapies successfully.

Confession is important, prayer is important, therapy is important. This kind of habitual sin develops a power over the individual and it can take years of effort to turn the tables. Keep pluggin away Ned. Remember that Christ suffers with you and for you.

You are making an error. The “sin of masturbation” in a masturbation habit is not masturbation.

A habitual male masturbator is a Sad Sack sitting in a dark corner sucking on a lollipop, to avoid the rest of life. When you say, “CONFESS SUCKING ON THAT LOLLIPOP!,” which is what you are doing, you are not advising him to confess the true sin.

The true sin of a masturbation habit is not sucking on the lollipop. It is avoiding the rest of life.

The folks here are SO determined to preserve the mistaken notion that




that they won’t let it go, and so give the habitual male masturbators here PRECISELY the wrong advice.

Please read my entire post, above, carefully. Again, a habitual male masturbator is a Sad Sack sitting in a dark corner sucking on a lollipop, to avoid the rest of life. When the folks here advise to PRAY to get rid of this bad masturbation habit, CONFESS your black, Hell-fire-bound mortal sin, and GO TO PSYCHOLOGISTS and so on, that is like telling the guy sitting in a dark corner, sucking a lollipop, to avoid the life beyond the dark corner, “STOP SUCKING THAT LOLLIPOP! THE LOLLIPOP IS BAD! SUCKING ON THAT LOLLIPOP IS A BIG, BAD MORTAL SIN! PRAY ABOUT THAT LOLLIPOP! CONFESS SUCKING THAT LOLLIPOP! SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST ABOUT THAT LOLLIPOP!”

The advise here is absurd.

The habitual masturbator’s problem is not habitual masturbation.

The problem – and the masturbator’s true sin – is his attitude toward the rest of life.

Dear OP,

You didn’t say if you are using porn to masturbate. If you are, you are going to have images in your mind by now, that are hard to get rid of. If it’s porn that is the problem, you need a support group of other guys who are dealing with this too. You need to be accountable to someone for what you look at on the computer. I am pretty sure there is a group here on CAF of guys who are trying to free themselves of this problem.

The poster above, Ussiah, will be telling you that masturbation isn’t a sin, that the sin is in not doing other things such as having a sense of humor,etc. But you know that in our faith, masturbation IS a sin.

I think coming here and talking about it will help you, but finding a group of people who are also trying to stop, will help a lot as well. Just remember, it’s good to stop for its own sake, but also because when you do eventually find someone you want to marry, this habit will interfere with your intimate relationship with her. For you are fantasizing and that will become your default setting, and you won’t be making love to your wife, but having fantasies about other women. You will defile the marriage bed by bringing other women into it, in your mind.

Find a Priest who can be your regular confessor. Such can be helpful in the spiritual life.

Know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves you!
Make sure you read the messages from world youth day with Pope Benedict XVI :slight_smile:

Hi, RealJuliane.

I won’t be elaborate. Where do I say that “masturbation is not a sin.” I don’t. I say that the HABITUAL MASTURBATOR’s sin is not masturbation. HIS sin is the attitude he has adopted toward the rest of life.

Again, a habitual masturbator is a person, sitting in a dark corner, sucking a lollipop, to avoid the life beyond the dark corner.

Habitual masturbators LOVE community support for the concept that “sucking the lollipop is a mortal sin,” which is essentially what you write above. Why? You have just justified his obsession. HABITUAL MASTURBATORS TELL THEMSELVES, AS PART OF THEIR HABIT, A THOUSAND TIMES A DAY, THAT “SUCKING THIS LOLLIPOP IS BAD! IT IS A MORTAL SIN! I MUST STOP IT BECAUSE OTHERWISE I AM HELLBOUND!”

In your zeal to be “THE REAL JULIANE, CATHOLIC WITH A VENGEANCE!!!” (your motto in your banner) you have just helped him to masturbate.

The sin of habitual masturbators is not the lollipop they preoccupy themselves with in their dark, dysfunctional corner.

It is the blind determination to avoid “scary life” – everything BEYOND their dark little corner.


Habitual masturbators, too, focus in on the lollipop. READ HIS OPENING POST!!! He already agrees with you!!!

Focusing-in on the lollipop, praying about the lollipop. confessing about the lollipop, talking to psychs about the lollipop, talking to groups about the lollipop, is PART OF the habitual masturbator’s habit.

Your post is “music to his eyes.”

Believe me, “MASTURBATION IS A SIN” is not what habitual masturbators need to read. And it is not their true sin.

Do you know what’s going to happen later? Your assurance about masturbation being a sin will be part of the pre-masturbation sexual thought thought structure in his head while he is engaging in his habit.

Guilt feeds bad habits.

Actually, they do need to hear that masturbation is a sin, as are pride and selfishness and lust and other underlying issues. Masturbation separates us from God=sin. To say otherwise is leading peole astray. Something may be fueling his sin of masturbation that is not a sin, something he had no control over in his past, we don’t know. That is something for him to discover through the sacraments and counseling and support. Your advice is overly simplistic. There are many posters here who successfully deal with these difficulties, and many are not sitting in dark corners as you assert.

If you have questions about this, go over to the impurity addiction support group, I’m sure you’ll find a fuller perspective on all this.


He already thinks that about 50,000 times a day.

Do you think that it is unhealthy to not think it 50,001 times a day?

To the OP, yes you are being too hard on yourself.

Thanks for the replies. :slight_smile: I know masurbation is wrong, and I will join the group mentioned here.

It’s just hard because I know that I can beat this, but I keep falling. I know porn on the computer will lead to greater sin, but I just fall into temptation. It sounds so simple – avoid porn and avoid greater sin – but sometimes I just can’t overcome it.

This problem is further complicated with other stresses I have in life (I don’t think i M because of stress). I have school, some big exams coming up and am in the middle of the very stressful college admissions process. I want God to guide me thorugh all of this. I want the grades God wants for me, and I want to get into the college God wants me to get into. I know God’s grace will guide me through all of this, but I also want to feel close to God. That’s hard to do when I view porn and M.

While I have managed to go long streches without falling, it is very humbling when I do fall, but also very frustraiting.

That’s what the accountability factor will help you with - you need to get that computer monitored so you can’t sneak porn without another man knowing about it. It is a real problem that so many men face now - the stuff comes to you in private without anyone knowing what you are doing. Don’t let it be just your own private struggle - turn to other men for support.

I know it is an embarrassing thing to admit, but can you talk to your dad or an older brother about the problem? There is software that can be put on your home router that will block just about everything, but someone else would need the password.

As for the images themselves, put a statue of Mary near your computer monitor. Also, remember that these women who pose for porn are someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s wife even, or future wife. They are not having fun, they are not enjoying it, it is a disgusting thing to do and almost all of them drink and/or do drugs in order to even cooperate. It is degrading to women and men.

Believe me, there are few young men your age that are not struggling with this, or have struggled with it at some point. You are not alone. But you have a lot of strength for having stayed pure for even 30 days at a time!

Forgot to give you this link! I am sure you will find it helpful! It’s also at the top of this page under “Chastity.”

Chastity Jason Evert

Ned, do you exercise? I know that’s an odd question, but I’ve found that using that energy for something positive tends to help one get past those urges. The next time you feel like molesting yourself, go for a solid 2 mile run. Not a walk, not a jog, a RUN. Throw the iPod to some metal, go outside and run flat out for as far as you can, then turn around and run home. By the time you get home, you will be worn down and masturbation will not be part of your thought process.

If you’re not a runner, join a gym, and throw some weights around. Going to the gym everyday and working out until your can’t lift your arms is also a great way to prevent yourself from masturbating. Basically what I’m telling you to do is replace one physical activity with other, more beneficial activities. Also, you might wanna just try using the computer around other people, if you can. I’m sure it’d get pretty weird if you’re sitting on the couch next to your mom looking at porn on your laptop.


You should try praying to Mary. Like any other sin, masturbation and porn can be overcome. “Take courage, and keep your eyes on Jesus, who will complete the good work He has begun in you.” (Phil, 1:6) Even though sexual sins are highly addictive, God’s healing grace is stronger. When you sin, it is so important to go to confession, which not only forgives our sins, but gives us grace to avoid future sin. I hope this helped, and I am praying for you.


PS, like The RealJuliane pointed out, Jason Evert and his wife Crystalina have multiple talks abot masturbation, porn, and how to overcome it at this website:

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